Chapter 3: A Couple More Additions
All of the kids started to sit down on the floor around Ms. Dinah inside the classroom.
"Coward." Foxy stuck her tongue out at Abby, to which she replied by sticking out her tongue as well.
"Okay, guys." Ms. Dinah smiled and patiently quieted the class down. "Now, before we get started today, we have a new classmate joining us today." She looked at Chicken Little and nodded to him with a gentle smile, motioning for him to come up. "Would you like to introduce yourself?"
Although hesitant and a bit shy, Chicken Little got to his feet and slowly walked up to his teacher's side. He turned and looked at the rest of the class sitting on the floor. "…Ummm…hi." he waved a little. "I'm…Chicken Little?"
"Whoo-hoo!!" Abby jumped to her feet, smiling and applauding for her friend.
He smiled back a bit when he saw her.
After a moment, her clapping slowed and she looked around at everybody else just sitting there and staring at her in surprise of her sudden outburst. Abby blushed, slightly embarrassed, and finally sat back down on the ground.
Chicken Little was discouraged by his quiet welcome. But then, somebody else in the room backed Abby up. Chicken Little looked up and saw a perky, little fish sitting beside Abby with big, black, sparkling eyes wearing a diver's helmet filled with water. He bubbled happily with a smile at Chicken Little, jumping up from the floor and clapping his fins vigorously. Chicken Little smiled back. Maybe his mom had been right. Maybe since he had found friends, school would be actually kinda fun.
Ms. Dinah smiled. "Okay, why don't you go over and sit with Abby and Fish there, huh?"
Chicken Little smiled and hurried over. Abby scooted over and allowed him to sit in between her and Fish.
He and Fish looked at each other. In a silent exchange of greetings, Chicken Little smiled and stuck out his hand palm-up. Fish smiled and slapped it. Then, in the little-kid fashion, he suddenly hugged the random kid that was Chicken Little. He liked him already.
A little while later, all the kids were doing activities around the classroom. Fish and Chicken Little were hanging around the block center.
Chicken Little carefully put the last block on his tower. "Ah-ha." He smiled and leaned back to look at his creation. "Hey, Fish, check it out!" he looked over at his new friend, but then suddenly shook his head in a double take. Fish had been busy with a tower of his own. "Whoa." was all Chicken Little said as he stared up at the block tower that was almost three times his height. He smiled over at Fish. "Hey, you're…good!"
Fish smiled and blubbed what Chicken Little guessed to be a "Thank you."
"Hey, cool!" Abby smiled. "You're like one of those arky-ki-tecs!"
Chicken Little blinked. Abby herself had been building as well, they just hadn't noticed her there. "Hey," he said to her. "Why're ya over here?"
"Huh?" Abby looked at him.
"Shouldn't ya be like, playing dress-up or something?"
Abby blinked. "…Why?"
"…'Cause you're a girl…?" Chicken Little reasoned, scratching his head in confusion.
"So…?" Abby shrugged. "I wanna be over here. I like blocks n' stuff."
Chicken Little didn't say anything. He cocked his head, more confused than ever. Blocks and trucks weren't girl things…so why in the heck was Abby playing with them?
By the time lunch came around, the unlikely friends had learned a lot about each other. They sat beside each other at the table.
As perky as ever, Fish jumped onto the bench beside Abby. He made a sound like he was clearing his throat and tapped her on the shoulder.
"Huh?" Abby looked at him. "What is it?"
Fish reached into his bag and pulled out a little tin of fish food. He set it on the table and pointed at it. "Blub-blub!" he told Abby.
Absolutely confused, Abby blinked and stared at him.
Fish finally used his fins to communicate with her. He pointed to Abby, then down at the fish food tin, and then made a motion towards his mouth.
"…Oh!" Abby finally got the message. "You want me to feed you?"
"Blub!" Fish smiled and nodded. He reached up and popped open the lid of his helmet.
Abby did her best at feeding him, but, being the age she was, she was a little clueless on just how much (or in this case how little) to put in. She was yet to see the humorous "effect" it had on her little fish friend.
"I was kinda scared when I first got here, too." she told Chicken Little, as they had been talking. "But my daddy told me everything would be okay when I found a friend."
"That's what my mom told me, too." Chicken Little put in. "She was wrong, though. Wait 'til I tell her I didn't just get one friend, but I got two instead." He smiled. "I guess I'm lucky or something."
"BUUURRRRRPPP!!!" Fish's helmet rattled as he suddenly let out a huge burp. He quickly put a fin over the glass where his mouth was and blinked in surprise of himself. He looked over at his two friends with wide eyes. So that's why his mom had warned him not to eat too much...
Abby and Chicken Little stared at him in shock. They looked at each other. Then, all three of them burst out laughing, almost falling off of the bench.
Once they began to settle down again after a moment, Chicken Little looked around at all the other tables and the kids at them. He noticed one table that had no one sitting at it. But he then saw something pink very slowly poke out from under its tablecloth and cautiously look around. It looked like a little…piglet.
At the sight of the young chicken watching him, the timid little stranger gasped and ducked his head quickly back under the table.
Chicken Little blinked and got up from his seat, heading towards the abandoned table.
Confused, Abby and Fish watched him suddenly go off. They looked at each other, and then followed to find out what it was he was after. As Chicken Little approached the table, he got down on his hands and knees and stuck his head underneath the low tablecloth. Under the table, he saw the little piglet staring at him with wide eyes, wearing a blue coat and cap. "Hi." the little chicken smiled. "What's your name?"
"…I-I'm not supposed to talk to strangers." the piglet told him.
"I'm not a stranger, I'm Chicken Little. So now that I told you my name, you're supposed to tell me yours!" he smiled.
The little piglet was quiet for a moment. "…Runt." he finally said, but he didn't come out from under the table.
"Whatcha doin' down here?" Chicken Little asked curiously.
"My big brother told me to hide down here."
"Oh… Will you come out and meet my friends, Runt?"
Runt shook his head vigorously.
"Well…that's okay." Chicken Little said. "They can come down to meet you." He called back over his shoulder. "C'mon, guys!"
Just then, Abby and Fish stuck their heads under the tablecloth at his sides.
"Guys, this is Runt."
"Hey, Runt." Abby smiled. "I'm Abby. And that's Fish."
"Blub!" Fish smiled and waved.
"Why's he hiding under here?" Abby asked. "Is Foxy after him, too?"
"He's lying down low here 'cause he's scared and 'cause his big brother told him to."
"He told him to lie under a table?"
"I'm not scared!" Runt defended. "I'm…sensitive!"
As Ms. Dinah walked by, she looked down and noticed the three tails of Abby, Fish, and Chicken Little all poking out from under the tablecloth. She blinked.
Under the table, Runt was explaining why he was supposed to hide under the table, in the words that his brother had put it.
"He says that I'd scare everybody, and he's right because I have an unusually high center of gravity for a kid my age! And he says that I'm a disgrace to the genus of swine."
The three friends just stared at him, totally lost by his words. Abby leaned towards Chicken Little. "What's a 'swine'?" she whispered, to which the young chick just shrugged.
"Abby? Fish? Chicken Little?" they heard Ms. Dinah called.
The three youngsters pulled their heads back far enough to look back and notice their teacher.
"What in the world are you three doing down there?" she smiled with her paws on her hips.
"We're tryin' to get Runt out from under the table." Chicken Little explained simply.
"Oh, okay…" a glimmer of realization came onto Ms. Dinah's face. This wasn't the first time this had happened…but she knew the antidote for it. "Well, you tell Runt that he needs to come out and eat his lunch."
"Okay!" Chicken Little smiled as she turned to walk away. He poked his head back under the table. "Hey, Runt? Ms. Dinah said you need to come out to have lunch." He looked at Abby. "Abby and I know how to deal with Foxy, so we'll protect you."
"Yeah, you can sit with us!" Abby suggested.
Runt stared at them, then at the floor. "…'Kay…I guess so…"
His three visitors smiled. Abby and Chicken Little reached out and grabbed one of his arms and Fish grabbed the other. They all pulled their new friend out the rest of the way from under the table. Abby ran in front of him and struggled to push him up to his feet. Runt helped out a little by standing up on his own. Chicken Little got behind him and pushed him forward. Abby and Fish looked at each other, smiled in amusement, and laughed as they ran ahead of their friends. "C'mon, hurry!" Abby called back.
"Hey, wait!" Chicken Little shouted, and he and Runt chased after them.